Thursday, 9 July 2015

Celebrating our arrival in Scotland with my top ten Scottish Etsy finds

We only had a short drive today and arrived in Scotland in time for lunch!
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Fearne Belle by Alison Grant 
In honour of this event, I have decided to make Scotland the focus of this post in which I will talk about ten unusual items I have found on Etsy UK. They are all by Scottish artists and I have chosen ten because Etsy is celebrating its tenth anniversary this month. I love browsing their website and could happily spend hours making great discoveries here! My first choice today is this limited edition cloth art doll from Inverness. Named Fearne Belle, she has been made by Alison Grant at AillisWonderland. Fearne Belle is wearing the Stewart Camel tartan and her pet West Highland Scottie dog has a matching collar in the same fabric. I liked the wonderful details on this doll including her lace trimmed sleeves and the different colours in her wool hair. Unsurprisingly, Fearne Belle is not intended to be played with as a toy and she is priced at £95.

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Boutonnierre by LindenFlowers
From the LindenFlowers shop which is based in Edinburgh, I have chosen this Scottish thistle, heather and tartan boutonnierre. Perhaps July is already too late for the wedding season rush, but I can imagine the groom, best man and ushers looking very smart with these. Made entirely with faux or dried flowers and plant stems so wilting will never be a problem, this boutonnierre features two faux Scottish eryngium thistle with two tufts of artificial purple Heather and the design is completed with a Pride of Scotland purple tartan ribbon. Each boutonniere costs £8 and can be shipped worldwide.

Elizabeth Gault is a jewellery maker from Kircudbright and the owner of
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Silver Scotland necklace by TartanTree 
the TartanTree shop. When I saw this sterling silver pendant cut into the shape of Scotland's outline, I just knew I had to include it in my top ten. If you look closely, you can see a tiny heart stamped onto the pendant. Elizabeth says she can put this heart anywhere on the country so it would be a romantic way to remember a wonderful holiday or to subtly mark a hometown. An eighteen inch mirror box chain is included in the £50 price and the complete necklace will be presented in a black gift box. TartanTree only ships within the UK.

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Card by DropSconeDesigns 
My fourth choice is a jokey handmade card from DropSconeDesigns in Stirling. Elegantly embossed with a design of birds sitting on telephone wires, it is printed with the Scottish dialect legend 'For ma burd'. The card is just £3 and is blank inside for the sender to write their own words, but after such a romantic message on the front, what else could there possibly be to say?! The card is handmade using recycled material and DropSconeDesigns only ships within the UK.

Handwoven items are a real luxury and this gorgeous purple coloured
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Scarf by Julia Complin 
scarf by Julia Complin would be a treat to wear. Julia is based in St Andrews and the weave patterns are all her own designs. She sources lambswool from a traditional mill in Aberdeenshire and also incorporates alpaca wool from Devon. The colours are inspired by heather-clad hills and glens of Scotland in late August when the flowers are at their most vibrant. We saw our first flowering heather of the year in Northumberland last week and the plants will be a true spectacle in a month or so. This unique scarf took 15 hours to create and costs £125. Julia Complin will ship her scarves worldwide.

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Old Culross by John Cowan 
John Cowan sells his original paintings through his shop, Fifeart, from Dunfermline. This deceptively simple village street scene is of Old Culross - apparently famous as the birthplace of Thomas Cochrane. I like the naivete of the composition and the strong blocks of colour which really made this painting stand out amongst a page of artworks. Painted in oils, the work measures 16 by 12 inches, is priced at the curious amount of £50.10 and can be shipped worldwide.

Can you believe that I have got all the way to my seventh choice before
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Belter and Cole chocolates 
including any food in this top ten? I had seen some shortbreads which seemed a traditional choice, but when my eye was caught by these handmade chocolates there was simply no other choice! BelterAndCole chocolates are made in Longniddry and can be shipped worldwide. These chocolatiers have been practicing their art for six years and use real ingredients rather than flavourings, Belgian fairtrade chocolate and local ingredients wherever possible. 24 assorted chocolates can be yours (or mine?) for £19.

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JamieFrameDesign topographical map 
Now this topographical wall map of Scotland is definitely something a bit different because it is actually three-dimensional. Created by JamieFrameDesign in Lanark, the necessary shapes are cut with a CNC router from birch plywood and then finished with natural wax to bring out the inner colours and grains of each layer. Computerised maps are used to ensure geographical accuracy of the finished product, and the grain of each layer is rotated differently from its neighbour to emphasise its height. JamieFrameDesign offer topographical wall maps of a number of the Scottish islands as well. The Scottish mainland map is £55 with birch veneer or £65 with one of a choice of other veneers, and can be shipped worldwide.

Glasgow is our destination to visit PeonyandThistle in order to take a
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Journal by PeonyandThistle 
look at this distinctive handmade journal. It's cover design is of a typical Glasgow tenement and I have seen inside a preserved version of one of these buildings during my visit to the city a few years ago. The design wraps around the whole journal cover and I like its clean lines. This particular journal measures 8 1/4 by 5 3/4 inches and contains 30 sheets of blank 80gsm paper so it would make a perfect sketchbook. In a great stroke of luck, at the time of writing, this journal is on sale at just £3 and PeonyandThistle do ship worldwide.

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The Lonely Haggis by ScottishFred 
Also available for shipping worldwide is my final choice: a toy and interactive storybook for children and the young at heart. The Lonely Haggis With No Name is made in Fochabers by Scottish Fred. The storybook fits inside a pocket on the back of the stuffed upcycled-fabric haggis and the tale can be customised to fit requested names and particular dates. Set in the wilds of Scotland, this lonely haggis decides he or she needs a name and someone to love. I love the monster-like appearance and believe anything that encourages a love of books is a great idea! The Lonely Jaggis interactive storybook is £35.

I hope you have enjoyed this wander through the Scottish delights of Etsy. I am certainly now raring to get out and see the country again 'for real'. We plan to be here for only a week before heading back south again on this summer's tour but, having already enjoyed a couple of holidays north of the border, I am sure we will be back before long.


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